Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Hello Fall Sign - Free Laser File

Hello and welcome back!  I realize it's early November and everyone is selling and making Christmas files.  I do have some Christmas files I will share with you very soon.  But it is still fall so today I am sharing a little sign file I made recently.  You can make it any size you want but the file is set up for a sign that is a little over 8.5 inches.  It will just take one sheet of Glowforge size plywood but I used two different boards for my sign.  

I bought these dry erase lapboards back in June with the hope that somehow they would work for sublimation.  They didn't.  But they are a nice size for the glowforge as most dry erase boards at the big box stores are too big to fit in the glowforge and have to be cut smaller with a table saw.  They're 9" x 12" and are 1/8 thick.  I masked the front and back with my favorite masking tape.  The brand I use is Tape Man Blue and it is comparable to Vinyl Ease which I have also used.  But you get 300 ft with the Tape Man Blue Brand vs 100 ft for the Vinyl Ease, which makes Tape Man a better value.  I apply the tape and use my handy pizza dough roller as a brayer to adhere the tape well to the board.

I uploaded my file to the Glowforge UI and ignore all of the steps on the "fall" section as I'm working with the "hello" part right now.  The shiplap lines and hello are set to engrave and the outer square is set to cut.  I use "set focus" on the middle of my board.  I then set the hello and the shiplap lines to engrave  and the outer square is set to cut.  I use thick draftboard proofgrade for engraving and my cut settings were:

Speed - 125
Power - Full
Passes - 2

After cutting with the above settings, you will probably notice quite a bit of char on the edges.  I use a paper towel and wipe all the char off really good before I remove the masking.  

Then I cut the fall section using baltic birch plywood I purchased from Woodpeckers on Amazon.  

I didn't mask because I had planned on painting it a dark color.  

In the Glowforge UI, I set the hello steps to ignore and the fall frame has three steps:

The fall frame (black) and the little rectangles (blue) should be set to cut and the red lines set to score.  This gives the frame a mitered look.  I'll explain the little rectangles soon.  I use Proofgrade basswood settings to cut the frame out.  I then stained it with expresso color chalk paint.

Since the dry erase board is so hard, you will need something a little softer to attach your hanger on the back.  This is where the little rectangles come in.  On the back of the whiteboard line up the piece containing the rectangles with the top of the whiteboard.  These handy clips are useful for clamping thin boards in place.

Then glue the rectangles to the board, using the scrap as a guide.  I use Gorilla superglue for this.

A few minutes later you can remove the template scrap.  The little rectangles are lined up nicely on the back of the board and ready to attach your hardware or hanger.  I used a wired jute rope and my staple gun to attach the hanger but you could also use d-ring hangers and your choice of ribbon or rope.

When your fall frame is dry you can glue it on the backer.  I again used Gorilla glue for that and my little clips to hold it in place.  

Then all you have to do is hang it!  If it will be exposed to the elements and the sun you will probably want to spray it with a sealer.  My porch is pretty protected so I skipped that step.

What do  you think?  It's a quick easy fall project and I had fun making and designing it!  The fonts used are About Love and Life Savers.  The file comes in .svg and pdf formats and commercial use is allowed.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

First Post

Those of you who followed my blog many years ago know that this isn't really my first post.  I deleted all the old posts and am starting fresh!  None of the old links to the digital scrapbook freebies worked anymore and while I knew I needed to update or delete the blog, I just kept putting it off.  I decided today that it was finally time!  I am not going to write a big long post tonight but wanted to update anyone who may have read the blog 10 years ago on what's going on with my life.

I retired in April 2019 from the police department after 28 years of service!  My first few months after retiring were spent doing things I never seemed to have time to do.  I cleaned the grout in my kitchen, organized the closets, did lots of puzzles, went to the gym... I love retirement!  I picked up a couple of odd jobs walking the neighbor's dog and I worked for the Census in the fall of 2019 canvassing addresses.  I also continued to work on my Etsy shop and it kept me busy enough that I didn't pursue another full time job.  

In February of this year I bought a Glowforge laser and I'm having a blast with it!  I mostly use it for jewelry for my shop but I've also made signs for several family members and friends.  When people learn you have a laser they come to you with all kinds of projects!  I plan to share what I'm making and some free .svg files that can be used with a laser or electronic cutting machine.

Cut to March - COVID shuts everything down! I was scheduled to start back up with the Census but they weren't sending enumerators out because of Covid.  I had kind of forgotten about it when they called and wanted me to go to training in July.  My heart wasn't really in it at that point.  My mom had just had back surgery and I was staying with her while she recovered and driving back and forth to my house 45 minutes away.  But I went to the training and figured I could make a little Christmas cash.  That was a Saturday.

On Monday, July 27th, I had a colonoscopy and woke up to some terrible news.  There was a tumor in my rectum and I needed to have a CT scan right away.  I was escorted from the recovery room across the hall to the CT scan.  I don't remember much of the rest of the evening.  What a shock!  The following weeks I had another CT (chest) an MRI, and multiple appointments with the Oncologist, Surgeon, and Radiologist.  I had 6 weeks of radiation and chemo and had minimal side effects.  I had wonderful care from all my providers.  Now my body is healing from the damage of the radiation and chemo.  In early December I will have surgery to remove the tumor.   Hopefully I will be recovered and feeling good again by Christmas!  

I hope you all will continue to follow my blog and my journey.  Thanks for reading!